Where the Heart Is Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Where the Heart Is

Novalee Nation is unlucky. At 17 years old, she is 7 months pregnant, and finds herself stranded at an Oklahoma Wal-mart after her mean-spirited Napoleonic jerk of a boyfriend left her there on thier way to California. Luckily for Novalee, he left her in the right town.
Click here to see the rest of this review

Despite being young, homeless and preggers, Novalee is a charismatic and charming young woman. After a rough delivery on the floor of the Wal-mart, and the not unexpected betrayal by her mother, she quickly finds herself making friends with the eccentric townspeople, and being welcomed into their hearts and homes. The local religous do-gooder Sister Husband 'adopts' Novalee and her baby, while the brilliantly eccentric librarian, Forney, becomes enamored with her.

Finally feeling as though she has a real home and family, Novalee starts to discover herself and her true potential, as each of her friends nurtures something special in her. The old photographer Moses teaches her a craft that becomes her passion. The young native American boy Benny Goodluck shows her hope. And her friend Lexie helps Novalee realize that she has a self worth that defies any social stigma gotten from station or situation.   

This book is both humorous and uplifting, though there is an underlying touch of melancholy. Novalee faces life, real life and the challenges it presents. Both loss and difficult choices play a key role. It is nice seeing characters that make many mistakes, and realize that they are neither perfect nor living in a perfect world.
The review of this Book prepared by Gerri Mahn

Novalee is a young mother-to-be stranded at Wal-Mart in a strange town by her no count boyfriend. With no friends and no place to live, Novalee lives in the store, but her "Wal-Mart Baby" makes the news. She must look out for herself and her daughter when everyone wants to dictate her life, including her mother, the baby's father, and fundamentalists who think the out of wedlock birth is an abomination.
The review of this Book prepared by Jessica Marler

Novalee Nation, the main character in this book is alienated from her boyfriend. He left her off at the countryside, but close enough to a Wal-Mart store. Novalee had no choice but to go live in Wal-Mart, and she gets pregnant. She lives in the store quite awhile, with no money, or way to get around.
The review of this Book prepared by Boppy

Chapter Analysis of Where the Heart Is

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   upbeat Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Poverty, surviving    -   Yes Kind of living:    -   general poverty story Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Pregnancy/Child rearing    -   Yes Major part of story:    -   dealing with unexpected pregnancy

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Age:    -   a teen Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   5 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   West    -   Deep South    -   Midwest Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Where the Heart Is

Billie Letts Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian